Lt James Herbert Weights
Commonwealth War Graves Commission Link
© 2017 The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Written and researched by David Bohl, with the kind help and documents supplied by historians worldwide.
[Aliens 1XV - 1913/14]
James Herbert Weights(JHW) was born 1892 in Chester, he attended the Grammar School for Boys until 1909 where he excelled in Drawing and French. As his father was a Schoolmaster the choice of career was always going to be in teaching. He attended Normal College, Bangor and gained a B.Sc from Liverpool University. He played for the First XV of the Aliens in the 1913-14 season and lived at 54 Coltart Rd in Toxteth.
As war broke out JHW joined up with the Royal Engineers and rose to the rank of Lieutenant with the Machine Gun Corps. In mid-1917 he accepted a commission with the Tank Corps and took part in the final push for victory at the Battle of Amiens.
10th Battalion Tank Corps, died 9th August 1918 in the Battle of Amiens
Mark V tanks of the 10th Battalion, Tank Corps (tanks numbers are J17, J18, J19, and J29) attached to the III Corps during the Battle of Amiens, standing in a cornfield near Albert, 9 August 1918. They are hidden from aerial observation by being covered with corn.
© IWM (Q 9246)
Battalion Diary 8th August 1918
J30 was in action for 8 hours and fired 6 rounds of case shot, 27 High Explosive, 1000 rounds Small Arms Ammunition. Tank started on time but didn’t engage enemy for one and a half hours due to the mist, tank proceeded North of Bray Corbie Road engaging Machine Guns and riflemen.
It reached the first objective at 10.30am, the tank spent 20 minutes hunting a MG and then went to the second objective. As the petrol was running low the tank made to return but was hit twice and burnt out at field ref: k15d. Officer In Charge KIA, 4 Other Ranks wounded and 1 missing. 2/Lt Weights died on the 9th according to the CWG, this is presumably an error. [Info from Landships]
[J30 was a male tank or hybrid, Mark Hansen on GWF explains:- the difference between male and female was dependent on the main armament carried. For males, this was a naval 6 pounder carried in a sponson on the side of the tank and, apart from the barrel being shortened, this was constant all through the war. For females it was 2 machine guns per sponson per side.]
The reading of his Will and Testament is quite moving, written on 11th March 1917 before taking up his Officers Commission with the Tank Corps.
"If anything happens to me I have only myself to blame as it was my earnest desire to take up a commission. Some men will come through this war but if I don't it simply means I have wished and lost and I will take my losses like a sportsman. It will be a great blow to my Father and this will always be my greatest regret. It is my greatest wish that he should cheerful, enjoy himself and not impair his health through mourning for me. I hope he will live to a good old age fortified by the knowledge that someday our family will once more be reunited ".
[My thanks to Richie Kenrick who visited Villers-Bretonneux Cemetery in Sept 2019]
2/Lt James Herbert Weights
(b. 1892 Liverpool d. 1918 France)
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